You may be aware of my love for melty, crispy sandwiches.
Let’s add another one to the list. Italian Meatball Sandwich.
I’m sure you can guess that I love everything that I post here, but this sandwich is good. Really good. I’m not a huge fan of meatballs or red meat in general, but this sandwich has a spot in regular rotation at our house. Even my daughter, who normally shuns all things meat, will devour these. She even likes dipping carrots in the sauce. Its toddler magic.
This recipe is kind of a lot of work to go through for a sandwich, but know that you could make the meatballs and use them to top spaghetti or as part of an appetizer or as currency in a post-apocalyptic world (am I excited for the return of The Walking Dead in two weeks? Not at all).
These meatballs are so tender and juicy that they have a tendency to fall apart if stirred too harshly in the sauce. Be gentle, take it easy, and don’t worry too much if it all falls apart. You’re just going to throw it on a sandwich and devour it in ten seconds flat. Mashed up meatballs will probably just be faster to inhale than round ones. Do you have ground venison laying around? I recommend using it to take this sandwich to a whole other level. Trust me.
1 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
One 24 ounce can spaghetti sauce
6 whole wheat hoagie rolls
6 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
In a large bowl, combine beef, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, onion, bread crumbs, egg, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and oregano with your hands. Form the mixture into tablespoon size balls and dredge in the flour.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, working in batches and adding more olive oil as necessary. Place browned meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat spaghetti sauce over medium low heat. Add meatballs and stir gently to coat in the sauce. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low. Simmer anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, gently stirring occasionally until you're ready to assemble the sandwiches.
To make the sandwiches, preheat the oven to 375ºF. Slice hoagies in half and place 3-4 meatballs inside. Cover with a slice of cheese and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Meatballs adapted from The Joy of Cooking